Lesotho tycoon forges coalition after poll breakthrough

Lesotho tycoon forges coalition after poll breakthrough


A diamond millionaire who made a stunning breakthrough in Lesotho’s national elections last week announced on Tuesday that he would lead a three-party coalition government.

Tycoon Sam Matekane belied expectations that South Africa’s mountain kingdom would remain politically deadlocked after last Friday’s election.

His pro-business Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party, founded just six months ago, won 56 seats in the legislature – five seats short of the absolute majority.

At a news conference, Matekane said the RFP has formed a coalition government with the Alliance of Democrats (AD) and the Movement for Economic Change (MEC).

“The leaders of the RFP, AD and MEC inform the Basotho nation that following the announcement of the results of the general election, we have agreed to form a new coalition government,” said Matekane, 64.

Matekane was flanked by AD Deputy Leader Ntoi Rapapa and MEC Leader Selibe Mochoboroane as he made the announcement at a hotel in the capital, Maseru.

The AD won six seats in the elections, and the MEC five.

Outside, supporters of the parties chanted and chanted slogans in their party colors while motorists supported them.

A constitutional monarchy entirely surrounded by South Africa, on which it is economically dependent, Lesotho has been ruled by a series of shaky coalition governments over the past decade.

The outgoing parliament failed to pass a law to strengthen political stability.

The bill would ban lawmakers from changing party affiliations within the first three years of their term in office.

The Matekane-led government promises that pushing through this reform will be part of its agenda in the first 100 days of its term.

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